Potted Hare

“Littlefinger turned away. ‘Boy, are you fond of potted hare?’ he asked Podrick Payne.” (II:199)

Elizabethan Potted Hare

Our Thoughts:

This quirky dish, still found in the UK, might be one of our new weekend staples.  The Elizabethan version is quite basic in flavor as it contains only a few spices, but this allows the taste of the rabbit to come through.  Ours didn’t hold together too well, and so ended up more a confit than a pate, which was still very good.  

The modern potted hare is fantastic. The thyme gives the rabbit a wonderful savory flavor, and the reduced fat adds a creamy texture that is awesome spread over crackers. The rabbit sets very well, and should be molded into any shape for a fun, interesting presentation.

Bottom line?  Well worth the effort, and tasty.  We served ours as part of a ploughman’s platter, with pickle, chutney, apples, cheese, and hunky bread.

Elizabethan Potted Hare

A Hare Hashed.

Cut it out in quarters, chine it, and lay it in Clarret, mixed with three parts of water, and parboyl it, then slice the flesh in thin pieces, and lay it on your stew pan, let this be off the Body, but the legs wings, and head whole, almost cover it with some of the liquor it was boyled in, add some Butter, sliced Nutmeg, the juce of Lemon, and a little beaten Ginger, serve it upon sippets, Garnish it with Lemon, and sliced Onion.

The Whole Duty of a Woman: Or a Guide to the Female Sex, 1696

Our changes: *NOTE* This dish is best prepared a day in advance.  Potted meats are basically stewed meat and herb that are ground after stewing and packed into a terrine. So we’ve used the basic recipe for hashed hare and finished it as you would a potted recipe.  Also, can we please just take a moment to appreciate the title of the original source?  Hilarious.


  • 1 rabbit, cleaned
  • 1 part red wine
  • 3 parts water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • stick butter, clarified

Cut the rabbit into manageable pieces and place into a large pot.   Add one part red wine to three parts water until the meat is covered and simmer until flesh is falling off the bone (several hours).

Strain off liquid and pull all meat from the bone, discarding the bones (what broth is left can be made into a soup — waste not!). Grind down by hand or in a food processor, adding spices, and lemon juice. Pack loosely into a terrine, add a bit of the broth, then pour over with clarified butter to completely seal and coat. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least one day before eating.

Modern Potted Hare


  • 1 rabbit, cleaned
  • 1/3 lb. smoked slab bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 pigs trotter, washed
  • 1 onion, peeled and quatered
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 thyme sprigs, 1 Tablespoon thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cut rabbit into manageable pieces. Warm a glug of olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium-high heat, and brown rabbit pieces on all sides. Remove rabbit and brown the bacon. Put meat in a casserole dish with the trotter, veg, thyme, bay leaves, wine, and enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cover, transfer to the oven and cook for about two hours.
Place sieve over a saucepan, and strain off the liquid. Boil and reduce to a little over one cup. While boiling, pull rabbit meat off the bones and shred into a bowl. Finely chop the bacon, add it to the rabbit as well as the mustard and tablespoon of fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper and and loosely pack into a terrine.
Pour over the reduced cooking liquid, cool, cover and refrigerate until solid.
Remove from fridge 20 minutes before serving.

20 thoughts on “Potted Hare”

  1. Toni says:

    Ladies, I’m going to come right out and say it. I.Love.You.

    I came here on the recommendation of GRR Martin, himself, anxious to see some interpretations the foods of A Song of Ice and Fire. What a treasure you have created! I have dabbled, adapting recipes from “The King’s Taste” and “The Seven Centuries Cookbook,” for the past 32 years, and to see your recipes and the lovely photographs have completely inspired me to do a full on feast for family and friends. You’ve made my day.


    1. Needs Mead says:

      Thanks so much Toni! We’re glad that we could inspire you, and hope you continue to check in as we add even more recipes.

  2. Nuchtchas says:

    I first found your blog last week after my Food of Westeros was a success in celebration for premier night of Game of Thrones on HBO. I decided I wanted to make more food from the books so I used a little google fu and found you among other sites. I’m blown away and impressed with your work and what you have been able to do.

    I wish I could be so awesome, sadly I find that my choices in meats are not as vast as yours. Surprisingly enough I’m having trouble finding game meats in Eastern Canada. No Rabbit, no Deer, not even a quail! Heck I couldn’t even find a cornish game hen. Add to the fact that my partner is almost completely anti veggie and we’re having some troubles.

    I plan to use what I find here to make “average grocery store” equivalents or similar versions. It’s a lot of fun and is making Sunday meals special again. Thanks.

    Oh, and I posted because GRRM posted about you on his Not a Blog and said we should give you encouragement. Here I thought you’d been doing this forever :) Keep it up! Thanks

    1. Needs Mead says:

      Welcome welcome! We’re glad to have you. :)

      We are admittedly a little lucky in our choice of meat merchants, but I am surprised to hear you are having such trouble up there! I might recommend either getting in touch with someone who hunts (what we’re planning to do for our venison and, ah, squirrel), or possibly check out some of the online options for ordering quirky meat. It has taken us quite some time to find the best deals on quality meats around us, and we are still constantly looking for new, affordable sources.

      Thanks for the encouragement, and good luck hunting down your dinner!

  3. hcjohnson says:

    Strangely, reading through some of the recipes, I’ve seen some similar dishes in British restaurants.

    This is a sumptuous site though, and I’ll be sending my chef friend here for ideas ;) Thanks for letting us see your experiments~

  4. Xevilious says:

    Man, why couldn’t I have discovered this blog over the weekend… while at home… with fridge full of ingredients.

    Instead I’m stuck here at work with my mouth watering. Your recipes look great.

    1. Needs Mead says:

      But soon it will be the weekend again! You can make it, literally and figuratively! :)

  5. Professor says:

    Brava!!! Photos AND recipes! Thanks to GRRM’s website I found you. I look forward to all future posts and will, no doubt, enjoy your previous posts. I’m completely charmed and inspired by your creativity.

  6. Ylenia says:

    Great great blog! I’m planning a dinner with all these dishes next sunday ( for the 2nd episode of Game of Thrones )
    Please keep going!

    for http://www.westerosgdr.blogspot.com

  7. Viviana says:

    Congratulations! Delicious reading and sightseeing! The most down-to-earth approach of the ”reading hunger”!

  8. kenality says:

    Your site is awesome. I’m a big fan of the books and unfortunately I will miss the first two episodes on HBO while recovering from a bone marrow transplant in the hospital. But they are being recorded on my DVR so I can watch them when I get home later next week.

    There is an American Public Radio podcast I subscribe to called “The Splendid Table” that is based out of Minneapolis, and the host of that show covers every kind of cooking and cuisine that you can imagine, and she has even talked about some ancient food traditions from the past. On that show they might very well like doing a feature about your site and sharing it with their audience. I’ll include their web site if you want to contact them–I’ll let you decide if you want to contact them in case you’re not interested in publicizing your blog that way (http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/).

    I’ll be on a bit of a restricted diet for a few weeks after getting out of the hospital, but I am definitely looking forward to trying some of these recipes with friends. I am part of a college football tailgate group every fall, and I think maybe this year we might have to try to sample some of the food of Westeros, especially if there’s anything that can be cooked on a grill and served with enough beer, wine, and mixed drinks to make King Robert Baratheon proud of us…

    1. Needs Mead says:

      Brilliant! Thanks for the recommendation, we’ll be sure to check out the podcast. Hope your recovery goes quickly, and that you can enjoy many of the delights of Westeros soon. We’ll get our other tailgate-worthy beverage posts up in the near future!

  9. dcspiceboy says:

    I can’t wait to make this. I’m gonna pick up a rabbit at the farmer’s market Thursday. Did you discard the trotter or chop up the meat?

    1. ChoppedGinger says:

      We discarded the trotter, but I’m sure it would be great chopped up and included in the terrine. Enjoy!

  10. Jeanette says:

    Excited to try this recipe out this weekend for the Season 2 premiere. Kind of nervous, as I’m not a great chef and have no experience with game meats, but I’m gonna give it a try! In the modern recipe, do you discard the celery, carrot, thyme, and bay or add them to the terrine? I’ve read in other similar recipes (like your Elizabethan one) that the mixture should be ground up, even put through a sieve. Would you recommend this for the modern recipe?

    Thanks so much for this wonderful website. Can’t wait to see your book in May!!

    1. ChoppedGinger says:

      So glad you’re making this! It’s really a great dish. The only things I left in the terrine with the rabbit was the chopped thyme. As for the texture, it’s really up to you. I chopped the rabbit rather than putting it through a sieve, and it was perfect to spread on crackers. If you want more of a tuna fish texture, leave the pieces a bit bigger. Or, you can use a food processor and make a very smooth texture, reminiscent of pate. Good luck, and don’t forget to share pictures!

  11. Julie says:

    *JUST* discovered that we have a butcher’s shop nearby that carries rabbit, goat and all other sorts of fabulous dead animals which I can’t wait to experiment with cooking. I just got home with 2 rabbits, and plan to use this recipe for one of them. Excited!

    1. Needs Mead says:

      Oh Congrats! It’s so exciting to discover a shop like that. Suddenly your kitchen horizons are a whole lot wider! Enjoy! :D

  12. Andrew says:

    I wonder if you ever tried these recipes with Scottish hare in stead of rabbit?

    1. Chelsea M-C says:

      If I could easily (and cheaply!) get some, I’d love to!

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